As more and more lawmakers realize that they need to establish regulations to prevent the growing prescription drug abuse problem, the number of people abusing painkillers is beginning to lessen. As the laws continue to change it becomes harder and harder for addicts to get their hands on the pills that provide them a powerful high similar to heroin.
For the first time in five years, prescription drug overdoses are at their lowest in the state of Georgia, according to reports. This can be traced back to stiffer laws and penalties associated with the prescription of prescription pain medication. In March 2013 a prescription monitoring tool was finally introduced in the state. The monitoring tool allows doctors and pharmacists to ensure that patients are not going from doctor to doctor obtaining prescriptions for narcotic painkillers.
In addition to creating the monitoring tool, law enforcement and legislators began to focus on illegal pain management clinics. These “pill mills” are facilities where doctors are essentially selling prescriptions to users. Addicts need only to make an appointment and they walk out with prescriptions for opiate pain relievers like Oxycontin or Vicodin.
An interesting outcome from the lowering of prescription overdoses is an increase in the amount of people seeking treatment for their addiction to prescription drugs. As the laws prevent more and more addicts from getting their hands on prescription drugs, some are realizing that they need to enroll in a treatment center to handle their addiction. Aiding that is the increase in treatment funding through insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, not all addicts decide to get the help they need for their addiction or can be prevented with legislation. Some addicts that start off abusing prescription pills move on to heroin when obtaining pills becomes too difficult or too expensive. It is vital for addicts to realize that heroin is just as dangerous as prescription pain medication. Heroin abuse is a growing epidemic, perhaps because addicts who originally abused pain medication have moved on to heroin to replace their original drug of choice.